New Lenses on China Colloquium

New Lenses on China Colloquium:
A gathering of leading scholars in the field of the history of photography in China

Dr Marine Cabos

Cross-posted from Photography of China

Photograph taken in Wuchang of a large group of British and Chinese men which includes the Viceroy and Governor, 30 July 1902. The photograph is annotated, 'Viceroy and Governor second row [from the back in the middle of the row sitting next to each other] sitting with Consular Body on right and left'. Reference: MS 15.6.3.023 QUB Special Collections and Archives

Photograph taken in Wuchang of a large group of British and Chinese men which includes the Viceroy and Governor, 30 July 1902. The photograph is annotated, ‘Viceroy and Governor second row [from the back in the middle of the row sitting next to each other] sitting with Consular Body on right and left’. Reference: MS 15.6.3.023
QUB Special Collections and Archives

Between 23 and 24 June 2017, Queen’s University in Belfast (Northern Ireland) planned an academic conference gathering international scholars from various disciplines ranging from history, art history, history of photography, to sinology. Entitled New Lenses on China: Photography in Modern Chinese History and Historiography, this conference’s successive papers reflected on the impact of photographic sources on our understanding of Chinese history, while assessing the state of the field and considering its future trajectories.

On this occasion, Queen’s University Special Collection also displayed a selection of photographs of late imperial China from the Sir Robert Hart (1835-1911) Collection outside the auditorium where the conference took place. This collection includes several thousand photographs, mostly of China around 1900, along with portraits of Hart and his friends, acquaintances and colleagues.

QUB Special Collections and Archives Photograph at Shan Hai Kwan of The Great Wall of China from the Chinese side, sloping This photograph is part of an album that contains fifty images of Northern China. The photographs capture many elements of Chinese life and they are all annotated. Reference: MS 15.6.11E.029

QUB Special Collections and Archives
Photograph at Shan Hai Kwan of The Great Wall of China from the Chinese side, sloping
This photograph is part of an album that contains fifty images of Northern China. The photographs capture many elements of Chinese life and they are all annotated.
Reference: MS 15.6.11E.029

The schedule unfolded as follows:

Robert Bickers, Bristol University: “Plenty and Want”
This talk explored the tensions and methodological (and other) problems he has faced as a historian of the socio-cultural world or migration utilizing private family collections of historic photographs of China.

Nicholas Pearce, University of Glasgow: “New Viewpoints, New Knowledge: John Dudgeon, John Thomson and Photographic Practice in Nineteenth-Century China”
This talk explored the friendship, collaboration and commonalities of approach in the photographic output of these two Scottish photographers, helping to create a more rounded picture of the contributions of both men.

Christian Henriot, Aix-Marseille Université: Seeing through death in modern Shanghai: A visual encounter”
This paper questioned the representation of death in modern Shanghai in the form of a visual narrative. Starting from the dead body, this narrative initiated a journey into the singular and most often fates of the body in post-mortem among Chinese and foreign residents in Shanghai.

Henriot's visual narrative available on www.virtualshanghai.net

Henriot’s visual narrative available on www.virtualshanghai.net

Emma Reisz, Queen’s University Belfast: “Photographic information and the Chinese frontier: Albert Pichon in Yunnan, 1908”
This paper focused on a collection of photography by Albert Pichon, an official in the Chinese Maritime Customs Service, who documented the trade route between Bhamo and Tengyue (Tengchong) in 1908.

Briony Widdis, Ulster University: “An Administrator, his Photographs, and Hong Kong Elites in the 1950s”
This paper explored how one can interpret such images, including through reference to museological writings on how colonial photographs may be interrogated. It also examined the extent to which they can relied upon as documents of Hong Kong’s colonial past.

Oliver Moore, University of Groningen: “Chinese photography’s irrepressible social space: the photography studio”
This paper treated photography as a social phenomenon. In particular, it looked at some of the evidence that demonstrated the rise of a photography culture whose ubiquitous commercial headquarters were the photography studios dotting city districts and appearing usually singly along village street.

Lu Hanchao, Georgia Tech: “Inside Chinese Family Albums: Memories and Reflections of the Everyday People”
Based on the Old Photos materials, this paper looked at how ordinary people coped with the extraordinary changes brought by revolutions and wars in their lives and their interactions with great political affairs in the nation.

Old Photos book series

Old Photos book series

Josepha Richard, University of Sheffield: “Reconstituting historical gardens of Guangzhou through early photographs”
The construction of gardens around Guangzhou (Canton) reached a peak from the end of the 18th century to the beginning of the 20th century. In this paper, she combined various written and textual sources including photography to reconstitute two of the most significant gardens of the 19th century Guangzhou.

Cecile Armand, Institut d’Asie Orientale, École Normale Supérieure de Lyon (ENS-Lyon): “Revealing/reviving ghost advertisements: Using street photographs to visualize outdoor advertising in modern Shanghai”
This paper showed the value of using street photographs to engage with neglected forms of advertising within the city. It explored various digital tools that opened new possibilities for using photos as historical sources or materials for writing visual narratives.

Gao Chu, Social Archive of Chinese Photography, Chinese Art Academy, Hangzhou: “Wartime Photography in China”
This paper explored how a group of photographers in wartime China became journalist photographers upon the establishment of New China. Their careers (1930s to 1970s) shared intangible energy in the making of revolution and among the viewers onsite.

Yi Gu, University of Toronto:”Uncles Would Fight For You”: Socialist China, Korean War, and Photographic affect”
This paper examined how photographic affected was explored, defined and promoted in the Social world by focusing on “We Love Peace” (1952), a seemingly mundane photograph featuring a boy and a girl cuddling with peace doves that became an iconic image of China’s intervention in the Korean War.
YiGu

Aglaia De Angeli, Queen’s University Belfast: “Tianjin Photos between memento and intelligence: what is the real purpose?”
In the Sir Robert Hart’s collection at Queen’s University Belfast there are two albums of pictures of Tianjin taken at the turn of the 20th century. The presentation aimed to tell the story that the photos were narrating and consider what was the real purpose of the photos at the time it was taken.

Elizabeth Edwards, De Montfort University: “Photographs and the Business of ‘Doing History’: some thoughts on method and historiography”
This paper asked how we do history in the age of photography, while reflecting upon the uneasy disciplinary relationship with photographs and historical sources.

Eric Morier-Genoud, Queen’s University Belfast: ”Missionary Photography and Archives: History, Potential and Limits”
This paper started by discussing the history of missionary photography and by providing an idea of the state of missionary archives today.

Roberta Wue, University of California: “China through the Magic Lantern: An 1886 Slide Lecture in Shanghai”
This paper explored an interesting example of global travels through photography from a Shanghai perspective in the form of an 1886 magic lantern lecture given by the pastor and educator Yan Yongjing (1838-1898) at Shanghai’s Polytechnic Institution.

Marine Cabos, SOAS: ”Creating Heritage: photographs of ancient sites in late imperial China”
This paper examined the impact of photographs produced during campaigns of exploration in China on our understanding of Chinese cultural heritage.

[Chine. Province du Gansu], vue de Touen-Houang [Dunhuang, vue de la vallée, prise de la grotte 16] [China. Province of Gansu, view of Dunhuang, view of the valley taken from the grotto 16]. 1908. Digital photograph after a gelatin silver negative on celluloid roll film, 18 x 24 cm (AP8204; Old number 3) © MNAAG.

[Chine. Province du Gansu], vue de Touen-Houang [Dunhuang, vue de la vallée, prise de la grotte 16] [China. Province of Gansu, view of Dunhuang, view of the valley taken from the grotto 16]. 1908. Digital photograph after a gelatin silver negative on celluloid roll film, 18 x 24 cm (AP8204; Old number 3) © MNAAG.

More information: New Lenses on China website

PhD studentship starting Jan 2018 [updated]

A fully funded PhD studentship at Queen’s Belfast is available starting 1 January 2018 on “Chinese Customs Houses and Sino-Western Encounter in the Unequal Treaty Era”.
Deadline: Friday 11 August 2017 (amended 18 July).

MS 15.6.22.029.1
Entrance to the old offices, Tengyue (Tengchong), 1909.

This studentship is within SPaRK, the Queen’s doctoral training programme funded by the EU Marie Skłodowska Curie scheme. All tuition fees will be paid (including for non-EU students) and students will receive a stipend of £25,576.45 per annum and access to a generous training programme. More information.

Applicants must:
- satisfy the Marie Skłodowska Curie mobility rule, which usually means they must have resided outside the UK for at least two out of the last three years
- be in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers
- not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree.
More on eligibility.

Applicants should submit (all by 11 August 2017):
1) a Queen’s PhD application following the additional SPaRK instructions – see Step 1
2) a 3-minute video (sent to sparkproject@qub.ac.uk) – see Step 2
3) an email introducing themselves and describing their interest in the project, along with a sample of recent academic work in English, directly to Emma Reisz (emma.reisz@qub.ac.uk).

Questions? About:
- The project: email Dr Emma Reisz, Lead Project Supervisor
- Remuneration: contact Ms Aveen Lavery, EC Research Finance Manager
- Eligibility: contact Richard Walker, Research and Enterprise Directorate

New Lenses on China, 23-24 June 2017

New Lenses on China: Photography in Modern Chinese History and Historiography
Wiles Colloquium 2017
Queen’s University Belfast, 23-24 June 2017

Wall

Chinese history is experiencing a ‘photographic turn’. Research about and making use of historical Chinese photography are fast-moving and rapidly expanding areas of interest for academics. At the same time, historical photography is increasingly being made available to a wide general audience in China and beyond, opening up new possibilities.

New Lenses on China will consider the impact of photographic sources on our understanding of Chinese history. This colloquium brings together leading scholars of Chinese history and of photography to reflect on the impact of photography on Chinese history and historiography, to assess the state of the field, and to consider its future trajectories.

Registration: Free (charge for refreshments)

Web: http://go.qub.ac.uk/newlensesonchina
Email: newlensesonchina@gmail.com

Keynote lectures and panels (provisional)
Robert Bickers (Bristol): ‘Plenty and want’
Elizabeth Edwards (De Montfort): ‘Photographs and the Business of ‘Doing History’: some thoughts on method and historiography’
Christian Henriot (Aix-Marseille): ‘Seeing through death in modern Shanghai: A visual encounter’
Nick Pearce (Glasgow): ‘New viewpoints, new knowledge: John Dudgeon, John Thomson
and photographic practice in nineteenth-century China’
- The imperial eye
– Memory, society and forgotten visualities
– Photography, the state and the nation: beyond the textual archive
– Photography, knowledge and dissemination

Robert Hart on Flickr

Robert Hart was fascinated by photography and communications.

So it is only fitting that you can now find Sir Robert Hart on Flickr.


The Flickr selection includes this delightful 1907 snap of Robert Hart with his band, along with over a hundred other photographs from late 19th and early 20th century China.

These are just a small selection from the full Robert Hart photography collection, which includes over 2,000 images.